Park View Marching Band Performs at the Wizards Game

On November 10th of 2023, the Wizards invited the Park View Marching Band to be the first band to perform the National Anthem before a game.
Park View Marching Band performing for the Wizards Game
Park View Marching Band performing for the Wizards Game
Ruru Magdamit

As two buses full of Park View students strode down the streets of Washington D.C, students in the back were playing music and talking to each other as they waited to arrive at the Capital One Arena. This day was special because they were invited to perform the National Anthem for the Wizards game that night.


I feel good, very good. I’m very glad to be here again. This is another amazing opportunity. I just want to thank everyone involved like Mr. Legrand and everything. I’m very grateful.
— Ibby Ahmad, Park View Marching Band Saxophonist


Park View Marching Band performing the National Anthem


Spectators watching and standing for the National Anthem


As the bus passed by, the windows reflected images of tall buildings and museums. Some of the students were excited while the other half were resting to regain their energy.


I think it’s cool for these kids. Some of these kids have never been downtown before and being on a stage like this is cool. I don’t know how many people will get to see it, but it’s still a pretty good opportunity.
— Sandra Ross, Park View Marching Band Colorguard Director


When they arrived to the arena, everyone stayed put until Claude LeGrand, Park View’s band director, signaled for their release. Everyone was eager to exit the bus, but knew the protocol of rare trips such as this.

Once they got their signal, everyone stepped out and started forming a line to receive their tickets to enter the arena. Most of the people sorted themselves by sections such as drumline, while others decided to get tickets to sit by their friends.


Devlin Porto (9) lining up to enter the Capital One Arena


Getting the opportunity to perform for the Wizards game was a huge deal, and while it was not the first time Park View got to perform, this was the first time the Wizards had a band perform the National Anthem before their game. The marching band wasn’t used to performing at events outside of Sterling, so an opportunity such as this was something LeGrand and the rest of the band were proud of.


We think of it as normal now, but two years ago, I never would’ve thought that we would’ve got that opportunity like this. The marching band two years ago was small and we didn’t really get to do anything so I’m lucky to be here.
— Melissa Marroquin Garcia, Park View Marching Band Trumpet Section Leader


I feel very fortunate. This has been my fifth time doing this with a band, but tonight is pretty special because this is the first time they’ve ever had a band do the National Anthem.
— Claude Legrand, Park View Band Director


It’s really cool that Park View gets to be in this place. We’re such a small title at school, not many cool opportunities come to us. So the Wizards Game? That’s crazy—it’s super nice to see all the kids be super excited and look forward to it every season. Hopefully, they keep letting high school bands play and audition.
— Nicolette Garcia, Park View Alumni and Colorguard Coach


Kace Hopper (11) in a crowd of students, waiting for the tickets


Lev Garcia (10) and Danny Velasquez (11) practicing in the basement of the arena


When Park View got the news weeks before the event, the band practiced both during rehearsal and at games. They were excited to perform and a lot of the members had been waiting weeks until they got to travel all the way to D.C and perform at an NBA official basketball game.


I practice like 20 hours a week and it hurts. My lips? Yeah, they bust.
— Broden Earley, Park View Marching Band Section Leader


Emily Amaya (11) rehearsing in the basement of the arena


Lyla Dixon (11) rehearsing in the basement of the arena


Performing for the Wizards doesn’t come by easily and the marching band staff knew it was a great opportunity. Many members dream of performing at more events.


I think there should be different places, special events such as festivals, also if there was a place we can do stand tunes and hype someone up. It would be cool if there were local events that are more inviting to the community and the schools. Like SterlingFest, the band will have a parade, have some stand tunes, and that’s cool—something like that.
— Nicolette Garcia, Park View Alumni and Colorguard Coach


Jonathan Morales (10) and Dennis Morales (9) rehearsing before the game


Gerson Chavez (12) Kurtis Finfrock (10) rehearsing before the game


Sandra Ross (Teacher and Colorguard Director) dancing with colorguard members


The performance went according to plan, and this was the marching band’s last performance for the season. For the seniors in marching band, it’s the last performance of their high school career.


It’s always bittersweet. That’s the hardest part of being a band director is knowing every year, there’s a group of seniors leaving. It’s great for them to have the opportunity, but at the same time, it’s always sad to see them go.
— Claude Legrand, Park View Band Director


It’s been such a great community. I’m really happy about everything, all the progress we’ve made, all the friends I’ve made, all the amazing memories that will stay with me forever. I’m glad that I’ve had this opportunity given to me.
— Ibby Ahmad, Park View Marching Band Saxophonist


It’s kind of heartbreaking in a sense. I only have one senior right now. They’re enjoying the moment, savoring it—I feel that so much because I’m an alumni so I was there with them. It’s something we all have to go through, and it’s kind of beautiful. Feeling yourself is a totally different experience. I’m going to miss them since I grew up with them.
— Nicolette Garcia, Park View Alumni and Colorguard Coach

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